Ken Barnes releases one of his Stronger College Football Picks for Saturday on Miami FL +1.5 over Louisville.
Led by transfer quarterback D’Eriq King, Miami (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) ran for nearly 350 yards in last week’s season-opening win over UAB. The Hurricanes look for another solid offensive showing when they visit an explosive Louisville squad (1-0, 1-0) seeking revenge for last year’s 52-27 loss in Miami.
Opening Odds Analysis
Although the Hurricanes have won just two of their last seven road games, they’ve been road underdogs just twice since 2016. There have been some lopsided results in recent meetings between these teams, with each of the last four contests decided by 18 points or more.
Miami News & Notes
It was just one game against a weaker opponent, but Miami showed a lot of improvement from last year in last week’s 31-14 win over UAB. The Hurricanes’ 337 rushing yards were the program’s second-most against an FBS opponent since 2004, and the ’Canes were flagged just three times after averaging 7.2 penalties a year ago.
The biggest difference, however, was Miami’s quicker tempo under former SMU offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. The Hurricanes ran 78 plays against the Blazers, 13 more than their average per game last year, and their offense looked a lot more mobile with transfer dual-threat quarterback D’Eriq King under center. King ran for nearly 100 yards on 12 carries, with most of those yards coming after contact.
Miami has gone UNDER in 12 of its last 15 road games, but the Hurricanes could very much become an under-the-radar OVER team if those trends from their season opener continue.
The Cardinals closed 2019 by going OVER in their final five games, and they’re already showing promise of playing more high-scoring contests in 2020.
Louisville showed a quick-strike ability in last week’s 35-21 win over Western Kentucky, needing four plays or less on a pair of scoring drives that covered 85-plus yards. QB Micale Cunningham set a career high with 343 passing yards, including completions of 70 and 63 yards.
Louisville’s 14-point win may have covered the 12.5-point spread, but it would have been a much more comfortable victory if the Cardinals hadn’t committed a pair of huge gaffes on special teams. Louisville fumbled a punt snap on its opening possession and allowed a blocked punt later in the contest, with both turnovers leading directly to two of the Hilltoppers’ three touchdowns.
Betting Pick: Miami FL +1.5 over Louisville
These teams combined to score 79 points when they met last year, and the Hurricanes offense is a lot more potent now. If the Cardinals are going to get their revenge for last year’s rout in Miami, I expect they’ll need to put up quite a few points to do it. But Miami Fl will put up MORE!